Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Asian Studies Scholars at The University of Texas at Austin
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As part of a broader disciplinary research series coordinated by the not-for-profit academic consulting service Ithaka S+R, University of Texas Libraries conducted a local study at UT Austin to examine scholars’ needs in the field of Asian Studies. Asian Studies as a discipline is undergoing evolution and change, and given the strong programs in this area at UT Austin, The Libraries’ roles and responsibilities may need to adapt in actionable ways. We interviewed 15 faculty members with a variety in rank, department, research methodology, and geographic focus, using a semi-structured, audio-recorded format to gather input on their research methods and processes. Our analysis of the transcripts explores the multidisciplinarity of the field, the dependency on networks and collaboration, and the kinds of physical and digital legwork needed to support research that often spans multiple languages and methodologies. The implications of these findings for The Libraries include the continued need for thoughtful local curation in addition to broader partnerships and collaborations, refined skills and training to support the multiple research tools and methodologies in this field, and sustained attention to the growing importance and changing context of Asian Studies on our campus.